CANE INDUSTRY SET FOR GAYNDAH
Isis Sugar Mill has secured a $1.23 million grant to investigate access to water storage infrastructure in Gayndah. Gayndah residents have voiced their concerns as it could affect soil in the region. 6800 hectares of sugar cane could be planted around G
SOME Gayndah residents are voicing their concerns on social media after the Federal Government announced the North Burnett is being considered for new sugar cane crops.
The Isis Sugar Mill has secured a $1.23 million
Ken O’Dowd The North Burnett has some of the most fertile volcanic soils in the country.
grant under the National Water Infrastructure Development Fund to investigate access to water storage infrastructure in the Gayndah area.
Susanne Capewell said the risk to the soil in the area was very real if sugar cane was to be harvested there.
“Cane causes total degradation of the soil after seven years and you can’t grow anything else,” Mrs Capewell said.
“I believe that Mr O’Dowd should be investing his time and powers to be into the existing citrus industry and not cane.”
North Burnett Regional Council Mayor Rachel Chambers said the council was not made aware of the announcement until the morning of and would look into it further upon receiving more information.
“I have spoken previously to Isis sugar about their plans and yes I support any forward progress for the region,” Mrs Chambers said.
“However this progress will always come with maximum benefit to our region, the North Burnett will not serve as just to prop up other regions.”
Mrs Chambers reassured the community that current industries within the area would not be detrimentally affected in favour of another.
“This newly elected council will need to be well included and informed by all involved for any decisions to be made into the future,” Mrs Chambers said.
It is hoped that the feasibility study can provide greater water security for the North Burnett and the Isis Sugar Mill which is looking into the possibility of planting 6,800 hectares of sugar cane around Gayndah.
Federal member for Flynn Ken O’Dowd has welcomed the government’s decision and the potential for greater water security within the North Burnett.
“Announcements like this, coupled with the work this government has done to open new export markets shows how committed we are to having businesses in the bush not only survive, but to thrive,” Mr O’Dowd said. “The North Burnett has some of the most fertile volcanic soils in the country, couple this with an unpredictable climate and water security fast becomes a priority.”
Federal member for Hinkler Keith Pitt said the study could provide up to an additional 28,000 million litres to develop the 6,800 hectares and could boost production by 500,000 tonnes. “This in turn could result in the creation of an estimated 92 jobs and $60 million a year for the regional economy,” Mr Pitt said.
“This project could also result in reinstating the crest level of Claude Wharton Weir.”
Mr O’Dowd believes that this development will boost the North Burnett’s profile.
MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT: Federal member for Flynn Ken O’Dowd discussing the recent $1.23 million grant to investigate access to water storage infrastructure in the Gayndah area.